Sunday, June 28, 2009

Be the first to know!

If you would like to be emailed whenever the market blog is updated, go to:

Paste in

and your email address

and you will receive a notice whenever a new post is made.

That way you'll be the first to know when a new product is coming in (think strawberries, peaches, field tomatoes & corn!) or something special is happening at the market.

BTW - we're expecting corn every day this week.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pros & Cons at the market 6-26

Pro - when College View Manor brought a van of their residents to the market today, I noticed one lady with a strong German accent. "Come with me, I'd like you to meet Bert Ott" (of Bavarian pastry fame). "Bert, I have someone here who speaks German." He greeted her in his native tongue, she greeted him and the conversation began. Later, the lady looked me up to say how special their visit was. "We grew up in villages 20 miles apart."

Pro - Speaking of language, Jared Zamouski, was by today. He is the NALA volunteer who will begin our English as a Second Language classes at the market next Friday. It is designed to help our immigrant farmers better communicate with their customers, but will be open to anyone. The class will run from about 1:15 to 2:15 in the south end of the pavilion.

Con - The line for tomatoes at Shoal Creek Gardens. We should be loaded with tomatoes in about 10 days, in the meantime we'll try to figure out a way for the line to go more smoothly.

Pro - a kind lady stopped by with hundreds of canning jars that had belonged to her recently deceased mother. Customers and vendors took many and the rest will go to the market canning class on Monday.

A con that turned into a pro - Just after market closed a little boy (who I will call John) sat down at one of the pavilion picnic tables. With a name tag and backpack, he obviously had come from school and looked like he might be a first or second grader. As we put things away, I asked if he was waiting for someone. Yes, one of his parents was picking him up. But another 15 minutes passed, so I asked if he'd like to make a phone call. He called his father who was mystified as to why he was at the market but would come to pick him up. Shortly thereafter a mother and two boys joined John at his table. John had apparently gotten on the wrong bus at the request of a friend who then went his own way leaving John on his own. The mother who came to the market became concerned when her son told her about the situation. We left him in the care of these family friends and about 10 minutes later got a call from his father, thanking us for watching out for him. We were happy we could help. On Saturday, John's mother and father were both at the market at opening to convey their thanks in person. Sweet little boy, loving parents.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Concrete floor: Big improvement

A concrete floor wouldn't seem like a big deal most of the time. But to everyone at the market this year; it's an extremely big deal. In previous years, if you used any type of wheels to get around, the gravel surface under the market was a bit challenging. The addition of the new concrete floor has made things much easier for patrons and vendors alike.
On my trip to the market recently, I observed many different kinds of wheels in use and those I spoke to were delighted with the easier-to-navigate surface. Strollers, wheelchairs and wagons in use amongst the crowd were getting from one end of the pavilions to the other better than ever. Vendors had nice flat surfaces to set up their tables, and everything was dry, even after all the rain we'd had lately. The additional coverage of the newly added roof area was also appreciated when the rain started to come down again.
If you haven't been out to the market yet this year, roll on in to check out the improvements under the pavilions at the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park.

Sweet Corn

Corn on the cob is here! The annual favorite that is enjoyed by people all over the world is now available at the market. Even though corn is available year round either in cans or frozen, the arrival of fresh sweet corn on the cob signals that summer is truly here. (as if the HOT weather wasn’t proof enough)
We all know one of the easiest ways to cook the corn is simply to clean off the husks and silks and boil them. But an internet search provided a few options that might be fun to try at your next cookout or family get- together.

Grilled Corn on the Cob
Peel away excess leaves and silk, leaving inside husks in place. Completely submerge and soak in water for at least 15 minutes. Heat grill to medium/hot, or get charcoal to proper ashy gray briquettes. Remove corn from water, let excess water drip off.
Lay corn in center of grill, turning every 5 minutes for gas grill, a little less often for charcoal. Outside of husks will start to burn and turn black, that’s ok, inside the moisture will be steaming the corn.
Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until husks are blackened extremely hot. Remove from heat, peel back husks and silks. Run under warm water to remove any ash. Corn can also be wrapped in aluminum foil before grilling if desired. Season as desired.

Microwaved Corn on the Cob
Peel away excess leaves and silk, leaving inside husks in place. Completely submerge and soak in water for at least 30 minutes. Let excess water drip off, and place ears on microwave safe plate.
Cook on high power for 7-10 minutes. (2 ears, depending on microwave) Remove from microwave, carefully. Peel away husks and rinse in warm water to remove silks. Season as desired.

Steamed Corn on the Cob
For crisper corn on the cob, don't boil the corn, steam it! Place the ears on end in a tall pasta pot with an insert, put in about an inch or two of water (and about a tablespoon of sugar--a secret ingredient) and steam for about 10 minutes. Once you try this you'll never eat boiled corn again!
Traditional seasonings include butter, salt & pepper, parmesan cheese, or cayenne. Unusual seasoning possibilities include minced garlic, basil, cilantro, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, lemon pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, or any of your other favorite seasonings. Each will give the corn a very distinctive taste.

Friday's Lunch is stuffed green peppers, side salad, scalloped potatoes, brownie & drink for $6. Bailed Green & Wired Tight will perform from 11 - 1.

Saturday’s Market will be from 9 to noon. Stonebrook performs.

On Tuesday June 30, Cooking for a Cause benefits Crosslines and Rob Pommert plays from 11:00am – 1:00pm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Contra Dance in Webb City

This Saturday, June 27, from 7 to 10 pm, at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison (between Broadway and Daugherty across from the skating rink). $5 donation per person is requested to cover the costs of the caller, band and room rental. Refreshments are provided. The popular market group Bailed Green & Wired Tight will provide the music.

Lots of fun guaranteed. Come alone, come with a partner (gender need not be an issue in contra dancing) or bring a crowd.

From Wikipedia: Contra dance (also contradance, contra-dance and other variant spellings) refers to several partnered folk dance styles, sometimes described as New England folk dance, in which couples dance in two facing lines of indefinite length.

The roots - At the end of the 17th century, English country dances were taken up by French dancers; hybrid choreographies exist from this period using the steps from French court dance in English dances. The French called these dances contra-dance or contredanse. As time progressed, English country dances were spread and reinterpreted throughout the Western world, and eventually the French form of the name came to be associated with the American folk dances, especially in New England (this Frenchified name change may have followed a contemporary misbelief that the form was originally French).

Contra dances were fashionable in the United States until the early to mid-19th century, when they were supplanted in popularity by square dances (such as the quadrille and lancers) and couple dances (such as the waltz and polka).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Corn, Blackberries, Peaches

Sweet Corn, Blackberrries, and Peaches are all now available at the market. Some are still in limited quantities, but should become more plentiful as the season continues.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fruit abounds too!

Heard a rumor that there might be a small amount of peaches at the market this week. Lots of variables to deal with, but, if you want them, better get there early. No guarantees.

Inside News

Nancy Rasmussen, our beef and chicken lady, will not be at the market on Tuesday.
Cooking for a Cause benefits Joplin NALA.
Rob Pommert plays from 11:00am - 1:00pm.

Urban Gardeners are taking Friday off.
Lunch will be Crispy Ranch Chicken Breast, stuffing with gravy, mixed vegetables, pudding & drink - $6. The Granny Chicks perform from 11:00am - 1:00pm.

On Saturday, the Joplin Area Welcome Club will hold a bake sale at the market. They promise to have some pies as well as some sugar-free items.

Also, the Art Market is this Saturday from 9:00am to noon.
Ninth Hour Quartet performs.

Kids Community Garden

Stop by the garden, just west of Madge T. James kindergarten, some Thursday after school and you'll see a garden-full of kids and mentors. At right, master gardener Lee Watson and garden supervisor Rochelle DeLucia work with the students to plant green beans. Those large leaves are not weeds. They're volunteer sunflowers from last year. They should make a stunning display next month.

Growers have growing families as well as fields

You may have noticed an abundance of wee vendors at the market lately. And, if you saw Lois Troyer last week, you probably guessed that another little Troyer is on the way.
What sensible parents. The due date is this winter after the market closes when they have some extra time to welcome a new farm hand.

Friday, June 12, 2009

BLUEBERRIES are now available

Braker Berry Farm wants everyone to know that Blueberries are Here! They will be at the market with their berries on Tuesdays and Fridays. Pictured with some of their berries are two young men who probably had a hand in the picking.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More on Saturday Crafters

Skinner Pottery is a new Saturday crafter at the market. At his Diamond studio, Brent Skinner throws all sorts of tableware, planters and decorative pots. A favorite at the market has been his Raku (that's the beautiful pot on the left of the photo). Expect to see more Raku at the market. I think he has been inspired by his sales.

Returning to the market for a second year is Sunflower Fields, woodcrafters Eldon and Judy Howery from Joplin. They build and finish all sorts of garden items, often with a patriotic theme.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Something New!

The Farmer's Market will be adding CRAFTS- every Saturday (from 9 to noon). The crafts have to be related to food, cooking, gardening or some form of environmentally friendly product. One of our craft vendors new this year is Randi Bachman of Carthage. Randi makes things using "repurposed cloth", in other words in the tradition of quilters, she takes fabric that is no longer useful in its current form and transforms it. At her stand, you'll find rag rugs, totes, bags, and clothes pin holders. You'll probably also find her husband Leighton Cordell (a hometown boy) and her young son Julius (see photo). If you're looking for a gift that says local, you'll want to check with Randi at the Saturday market.
Check with the Market Manager's table if you think you make a craft item that might be a fit in this area.

Monday, June 8, 2009

More inside news

Hazel's Bakery will not be at the market Tuesday. Bill was up half the night racing cars with his son Steve and Kay decorated special order cakes all night, so they are too weary to bake all day and night. They'll be back on Friday.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Inside News

Amos Apiaries will be away from the market on Tuesday, June 9 - as will I. We're off to France for a couple of weeks. But the blog will continue to be updated by market volunteer Monica Vaughn. Who knows - I may blog a bit about markets in France.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Saturday - what we'll have, what we won't

Saturday we should have lots of fresh produce, but we do not expect any strawberries (sorry, the season is almost done) nor will we have tomatoes (the high tunnels don't produce enough to pick two days in a row.). Kay won't be there with pies and cakes (at left, Kay with one of her grandchildren at Friday's market), but her son Bill will be cooking up breakfast to order. Hector Troyer will be there with zucchini and squash, cabbage and broccoli. (Hector says his corn is looking good and should be ready for harvest in a couple of weeks - if the coons don't get it first.) The Lees and Vangs, and about 10 other growers are expected. There should also be honey, Redings Mill bread, plants, and a number of crafters. Bring the family, bring your neighbors to the first regular Saturday market - 9 to noon. (I'd be there by 10:30 for good selection.) The Missouri Mountain Gang is playing bluegrass most the morning.

At right, Helen Cha keeps her little son close with a traditional Hmong baby sling.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

America's Favorite Farmers' Market Contest

Over the next few months, America's Farmland Trust will be working around-the-clock to raise awareness about the importance of farmers' markets to our farms, communities, and regional economies! America's Farmland Trust is promoting a contest which will encourage everyone in our community and around the country to know the value that farmers markets offer. We encourage you to vote for the Webb City Farmers Market as your favorite farmers' market!

Paste this site in to vote:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mike Pound did a nice article on Piya Thai Foods in today's Globe. The owner, Thayukorn Sommanus who is shown at left in a Globe photo by BW Shepherd, regularly buys veggies and flowers at the market for his restaurant.

Read the Globe article at:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Things are looking more abundant all the time - & an oops story

Tuesday's market was absolutely loaded with produce. And the tables were gorgeous. Just one sample - the Cha's - at left.

Tuesday I threw together the market layout without consulting last week's diamgram. (We always diagram out the full length of the pavilion to be sure everyone is tucked into the place that they need.) But I didn't consult the week's before and some folks were moved from their previous location. Among them, Bert & Daffol Ott.

Normally, it isn't unusual to move a vendor by a space or two depending on who we have to fit in, so I was a little suprised when the Otts commented that I had assigned them a slightly different space. But they set up with no complaints.

Only later, through the grapevine, did I learn that they had come to the pavilion over the weekend and spent hours scrubbing down their space so it would be sparkling clean for market day - and then I moved them!! I won't do that again.

If you come to market towards closing, you will find all our vendors sweeping out their space. We try to leave it cleaner than we find it, but we don't usually rise to the Otts standards by scrubbing for hours.

Webb City Sentinel 6-5-09

Things are taking shape at the Kids Community Garden. Tomatoes and peppers are in, as are eggplants and sweet potatoes. On Wednesday (if the weather was cooperative – I’m writing this on Monday to meet an early Sentinel deadline), we were to have a new crew of gardeners. In fact, we’re expecting 400 of them during June. Thank goodness the school is providing supervision. To me, those numbers are downright scary. To the school, it’s all in a day’s education.

During summer school, the elementary children are studying famous Missourians –Harry S Truman, Marlon Perkins, Thomas Hart Benton and George Washington Carver. It is the last that brings the children to the garden. As part of their science program, they will be studying about plants, which, of course, was Carver’s main area of study, too. Each week a new group of students will plant marigolds along the edge of the garden.

Why marigolds and why along the edge? It may just be folklore, but marigolds are thought by many gardeners to repel insects, so they plant a perimeter of marigolds as the first line of natural defense. Back when I was a gardener, many years ago, I did that around my small garden.

I loved planting the garden, but didn’t have a lot of interest in weeding. My husband, Phil, was appalled at my overgrown garden and one day, while I was at work, did me the kindness of weeding the garden. He pulled up every single marigold. They weren’t yet flowering and even I had to admit the leaves look suspiciously weedy. Phil hates yard work so he was being generous, if not entirely effective.

In any case, I have to take the word of other gardeners that the method works, because I have no personal experience with it.

The students will be studying at Webster School, just a short walk from the garden, which is west of Madge T. James Kindergarten.

I went out Sunday to turn a planting trench around the garden for our new little growers. I had spoken earlier to Tami Fredrickson about borrowing a tiller but found the ground loose enough to turn easily with a garden fork. When I called Tami to cancel the tiller delivery, she laughed. “You’re using the Fredrickson Farms fitness program.” She said that she has urged others to try the program out at the farm. Work the fields all summer and she guarantees that you’ll loose weight and gain muscle. So far she’s had no takers. Guess they prefer the comfort of places like the Fitness Forum in downtown Webb City. Well-equipped, air-conditioned and accessible 24/7, it is hard to beat with backbreaking labor under a hot sun.

We are very lucky in having several adult volunteers, not afraid of the sun or work, serving as mentors at the garden. Rochelle DeLucia is supervising with assistance from market volunteer Ron Walters and master gardeners Dale Mermoud and Lee Rodriquez, among others. If you know of any children, in 5th grade or up, who would like to be involved, leave their name at the information table at the market.

It looks like strawberry season is coming to an end, long before many of us are ready. Last Friday, we opened with hundreds of quarts of berries. They were sold in about 20 minutes. The tomatoes are going fast, too. But we’re getting a better and better supply of other produce. We expect the Troyers and Lees to have yellow squash and zucchini today. Ted Owens has turnips. The radish supply is terrific. There’s plenty of broccoli and other early crops.

And don’t forget what the Ag Department likes to call value-added, jams, jellies, and baked goods. On Friday folks were lined up to buy pastries from Bert Ott. His chocolate covered pretzels are proving very popular, as are his other delicacies. If you’d like a little taste of Bavaria, check out his stand.

Today lunch is all-you-can-eat chili, plus dessert & drink - $6. Jack & Lee Ann Sours play from 11 - 1.

Don’t forget, we start our weekly Saturday market tomorrow from 9 to noon. We have the Missouri Mountain Gang from Ozark playing bluegrass. They put on a great show. Hazel’s Bakery will be cooking up breakfast to order until 11.

On Tuesday, Joplin Little Theatre runs Cooking for a Cause and Rob Pommert will play from 11 to 1.

Now you have three market days to choose from and music and a meal at every market. And the market will just get more and more produce with each day.